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USAID Amazon Regional Environment Program

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Amazon Regional Environment Program
Amazon Regional Environment Program
Diego Montoya, Peru Bosques

USAID envisions a healthy and resilient Amazon Basin that is valued by society, ensures human well-being, and safeguards our global climate. The Amazon Region hosts a third of the world’s known species of plants and animals –many of which do not occur anywhere else– and is home to the largest river system in the world, representing 15 percent of the freshwater feeding the world’s oceans. Unsustainable economic development and illegal extraction of resources is causing contamination and degradation that threaten the entire Amazon ecosystem.

The Amazon forests, and the 1.6 million indigenous people living within the Amazon basin, face the uncontrolled expansion of agriculture, large-scale infrastructure development, small- and large-scale mining, petroleum extraction, and unsustainable logging (both legal and illegal). Warmer temperatures and less rainfall are increasing destructive fires, degrading and destabilizing Amazon ecosystems. As the Amazon region’s fourth largest conservation donor, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) plays an important role in supporting and collaborating with the governments of the region, global and local environmental organizations, civil society groups, and corporations.

The vision of a healthy Amazon depends on achieving four goals: 1) decreasing deforestation, forest degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions; 2) fostering an environmentally friendly economy; 3) protecting key landscapes and species; and, 4) securing the rights, resources and health of forest-dependent communities.

To achieve this vision, USAID promotes sustainable natural forest management, including the creation and improved management of protected areas and indigenous territories. We also help strengthen local, national and cross-border governance systems to support conservation and sustainable development, combat conservation crime, and to generate the scientific evidence needed to understand and address environmental challenges.

To reduce threats to the Amazon’s forests, waters, and peoples, USAID’s Amazon Regional Environment Program (AREP) implements activities across Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname to complement bilateral work in these countries.  AREP has four strategic approaches:

  • Support improved representation of indigenous peoples in political and economic governance, promoting their rights, livelihoods, and opportunities.      
  • Address key drivers of deforestation by developing strategic approaches to conserve biodiversity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Use science to monitor natural systems, improve decision-making, and address effects of global climate change.
  • Promote information sharing and communications among internal and external audiences to build regional knowledge and strengthen strategic approaches to conservation and sustainability.



The Amazon Indigenous Rights and Resources (AIRR) activity aims to incorporate the rights and interests of indigenous peoples into public and private sector development planning to balance human welfare and environmental conservation. The project also promotes existing indigenous enterprises and helps them grow, through a combination of grants, loans and market analysis.

Countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador Guyana, Peru and Suriname

Duration: August 2019 – August 2024

Implementing Partner: WWF

Total Project Investment: $17,962,505


Transnational conservation crimes are fast growing, high-value, and low-risk, generating hundreds of billions of dollars for criminal organizations worldwide each year. This project will improve regional cooperation and the capacity of enforcement and justice system actors to detect, interdict, investigate and prosecute conservation crimes in border regions.

Countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname

Duration: April 2021 – April 2025

Implementing Partner: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Total Project Investment: $9.8 million


The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and USAID join forces to build capacity and strengthen partnerships for forest and fire management among Amazonian countries. Better forest and fire management contributes to a healthy and resilient Amazon that supports human well-being, safeguards our global climate, and improves local livelihoods.

Countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru

Duration: August 2020 – August 2025

Implementing Partner: U.S. Forest Service International Programs

Total Project Investment: $6 million


This activity partners with Conservation X Labs, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Microsoft, and ESRI, in identifying and supporting innovations to prevent and mitigate the negative effects of artisanal gold mining in the Amazon basin. The grant winners will show how the innovation will help reduce artisanal mining threats to biodiversity and demonstrate commercial demand, and a plan to ensure financial stability.   

Countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname

Duration: July 2020 - July 2022

Implementing Partner: Conservation X Labs

Total Project Investment: $2.25 million plus $5.5 million leverage


This partnership aims to halt Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing while promoting sustainable management of critical marine species and ecosystems by: 1)Effectively enforce domestic fisheries regulations and international fisheries agreements, 2) Document and share relevant information across government agencies and with neighboring countries, and 3) Develop and implement plans to sustainably manage economically and ecologically important species or areas within coastal and marine.

Countries: Colombia, Ecuador and Peru

Duration: June 2021 – June 2026

Implementing Partner: The U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Total Project Investment: $5 million


SERVIR is a joint initiative of USAID and NASA to develop Amazon nations’ capabilities to improve environmental management and resilience to climate change, through geospatial technologies. This activity has established an Amazon Hub in Latin America as part of the SERVIR Global Network.   

Countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname

Duration: December 2018 – December 2023

Implementing Partner: International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and a consortium of local and international partners, like IMAFLORA in Brazil, and ACCA in Peru.

Total Project Investment: $9,9 million


By providing grants and technical assistance to indigenous peoples’ organizations in the Amazon region, this activity helps them improve their financial resources management and their ability to lead development planning and priorities.

Countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname

Duration: February 2018 – September 2023

Implementing Partner: PACT

Total Project Investment: $3.4 million


Transnational conservation crimes are fast growing, high-value, and low-risk, generating hundreds of billions of dollars for criminal organizations worldwide each year. This project will strengthen civil society’s capacity to oppose conservation crimes and connect urban and rural areas with the conservation of the Amazon. Its major goals are fostering an environmentally friendly economy; protecting key landscapes and species; and securing the rights, resources, and health of forest-dependent communities.

Countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru

Duration: October 2021 – September 2026

Implementing Partner: Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Total Project Investment: $18.2 million





Last updated: August 03, 2022

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